Janis Laurs has been on the permanent staff of the Elder Conservatorium of Music since 1985 and is also currently the Principal Cellist of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, a position he has held since 1997.
Janis studied 'cello performance with James Whitehead at the Elder Conservatorium of Music, and continued his studies with the legendary Pierre Fournier in Switzerland. From 1975 to 1982 he was cellist of the widely acclaimed New England Ensemble. He spent two years as Associate Principal Cellist with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra before moving to Adelaide as foundation cellist of the internationally acclaimed Australian String Quartet. He left the ASQ in 1997 to take up his position with the ASO. With both chamber music ensembles he made several recordings and toured extensively throughout Australia, Europe, China, Canada and the USA.
As a soloist, Janis has played with many of the Australian Symphony Orchestras. He has also given recitals with various international and Australian pianists and other artists throughout Australia and overseas.
In addition to his teaching at the Elder Conservatorium of Music he has also had a long association with the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) in Melbourne, and has regularly tutored cellists and chamber music groups at and for ANAM.
Since the commencement of his career Janis has also shared his skills as a conductor, leader, tutor and artistic director with many community groups, such as orchestras, choirs, summer schools and music camps. He has previously been on the Board of the Australian Youth Orchestra, President of the SA Branch of the Australian String Teachers' Association (AUSTA) and Artistic Director of the Adelaide Youth Orchestra.
He is one of the most sought after cello teachers in Australia and has nurtured the talents of many Australian cellists of the younger generation. His former students can be found in most of the Australian symphony orchestras, and in many orchestras and chamber music groups internationally.